13 Mar Some Eczema Creams are a Fire Risk
Across the pond, The Sun recently reported that over-the-counter eczema creams with a paraffin base pose a fire risk. Spectrum Dermatology treats a wide range of skin issues, including eczema, with a combination of in-office treatments and safe prescription treatments. According to researchers at Anglia Ruskin University, it takes 15 seconds for a cream that is 21 percent paraffin-based to ignite. This is compared to plain, untreated fabric that takes 65 seconds to ignite.
This research began after a few cases of fires were linked to eczema creams in the United Kingdom. According to lead researcher Dr. Sarah Hall, “We were driven to carry out this work following a couple of tragic cases reported to us by Essex Fire and Rescue Service.” The team was immediately drawn to paraffin-based creams, which are (for obvious reasons) flammable. Paraffin wax is the most common base for candles.
The team found that fabric that becomes “contaminated” with paraffin immediately begins to act like a candle. The most common cloth contaminated is pieces used to remove paraffin-containing creams and lotions. Researchers stress that many studies have found eczema and psoriasis creams tend to build up in fabrics. This can pose a fire hazard.
In 2017, the Regulatory Authority began to call for new labeling for emollient creams that includes a fire warning. Thus far, nothing has changed. Although the fire risk is relatively low, eczema patients in the UK are now being warned about being close to open flames or smoking. Severe burns and even death may occur, warns the researchers. So far, over 50 deaths in Britain have been associated with such a cream.
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This can be troubling for eczema patients, who often struggle with the incurable condition for life. Fortunately, the top-rated treatments in the US do not come with a paraffin base. Still, it’s a reminder of how important it is to work with a trusted dermatologist to create an eczema treatment plan that is both safe and effective. If you’re struggling with eczema, contact Spectrum Dermatology today for your consultation.